Xiaomi is the next big phone brand to remove the charger from the box

Expect this to be a trend in 2021.

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Jon Fingas
December 26, 2020 1:08 PM
HONG KONG, CHINA - 2020/12/04: Commuters wearing face masks walk past the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro 5G smartphone advertisement at its flagship store in Hong Kong. (Photo by Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Budrul Chukrut/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple isn’t the only major brand removing the charger from the box of its latest flagship phone. As noticed on Reddit, Xiaomi has announced that its upcoming Mi 11 phone won’t include a charger. The rationale is familiar. Many people already have old chargers on hand, and this answers demands for a “more environmentally friendly” device with less waste and smaller packaging.

Xiaomi said there would be a conference on December 28th to discuss the decision. It acknowledge the choice would be “unreasonable” for some would-be buyers.

Critics have already blasted the move. While there is an environmental argument to made for shipping fewer chargers, this also helps Xiaomi save money. It can maintain or grow its profit margins, especially for those customers that buy an official charger. That could include people who already have chargers — you can’t really take advantage of fast charging unless you have a compatible adapter.

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The exclusion won’t matter much in North America and other places where Xiaomi has a limited audience. However, it could easily set the stage for what’s to come. Between this and Samsung reportedly skipping the charger with the Galaxy S21, there’s a real chance you’ll have to go out of your way to find a handset (at least, a high-end handset) with an included power brick in 2021.

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Xiaomi is the next big phone brand to remove the charger from the box